How to Apply - Master of Business Administration

Deadlines and Important Dates

For admission in fall 2014:

Early deadline — February 1, 2014
Standard deadline — May 1, 2014

For admission in spring 2015:

Early deadline — July 1, 2014
Standard deadline — October 1, 2014

Completed application portfolios will be reviewed as they are received until all seats are filled for the cohort or the standard deadline is reached, whichever comes first. Applications submitted by the early deadline will be given priority consideration. The cohort may reach capacity before the standard deadline, so applicants are encouraged to submit all portfolio items as early as possible.

Admissions Help

Admissions decisions are based on the quality of the applicants' credentials. A portfolio is developed for a broad-based assessment of each applicant.


For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

Penn State's online MBA program is suitable for individuals of diverse academic and professional backgrounds and requires no prerequisite course work. However, previous course work in accounting, economics, math, and statistics, or knowledge of these subjects gained through work experience adds to the strength of your application portfolio.

Admissions Requirements

The application portfolio includes:

Completed application (including a nonrefundable application fee) submitted electronically. All institutions previously attended (including Penn State) should be listed on the application as part of your academic history, regardless of time that has passed, grades earned, semesters completed, or the accreditation of the institution.

Recommendations (two): You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names and email addresses of references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each recommender requesting them to complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program.  Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.  

Résumé: A listing of your professional experience. Two years' worth of professional experience is preferred, but not required.

Statement of Intent: The statement of intent is your way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Tell us why you've decided to pursue an online MBA and why the iMBA is a good fit for you. You can also highlight the talent and experience you will bring to the iMBA program.

U.S. bachelor's degrees: A bachelor's degree is required and must be earned from a regionally accredited institution.

Foreign bachelor's degrees: Applicants with foreign degrees must provide official transcripts in the language of instruction—with certified, English translation.The Penn State Graduate School accepts evaluations of foreign transcripts from Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE) only.

Official Test Scores: GMAT or GRE (either test is acceptable)

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): Submit your official score report, using the iMBA code listed as: Pennsylvania State University, World Campus, iMBA ZZ8-JW-99.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination): Select code 2660 for Penn State.

GMAT or GRE scores must be from within the past five years. The GMAT or GRE requirement may be waived only if the applicant holds a doctorate-level degree. No waivers will be granted for work experience or existing graduate degrees other than those at the doctorate level.

English Proficiency: The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with some exceptions. Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School "How to Apply" page.

Two official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. Mail transcripts to: 

iMBA Program Office
The Pennsylvania State University
5340 Fryling Road, Suite 104
Erie PA 16510

Application Portfolio Evaluation

The Admissions Committee considers the entire portfolio and seeks applicants that can succeed in a high-quality MBA program. GMAT scores are critical for accreditation, represent the one standardized admission criterion, and are an important element of the application portfolio. However, trade-offs between admission requirements are made (i.e., exceptional work experience and a good undergraduate GPA might offset a lower GMAT score, or a high GMAT score might offset limited work experience).

Scholarship Opportunity

A few highly competitive merit-based scholarships are available to iMBA students who have demonstrated extraordinary personal, professional, or academic achievements, or the ability to contribute a unique perspective to the class. Admitted applicants are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. To be considered for a scholarship, you are encouraged to submit your completed application portfolio well in advance of the application deadline. Scholarship award decisions will be made by the iMBA admissions committee.

Additional GMAT Information

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) measures general mathematical, verbal, and analytical writing skills. It is not intended to test specific subject areas, nor does it require that you have already taken business courses. The GMAT provides a common standard of performance for iMBA applicants who come from diverse educational and employment backgrounds. Requiring the GMAT ensures that you will have capable peers to network with, and assures us that we will have enrolled students who are able to succeed in the program. You can find out more about the exam by visiting the Official GMAT Website or by calling 800-717-4628 for GMAT customer service.

Applying to the iMBA Program

  1. Review the Requirements for Graduate School Admissions
  2. Begin the graduate school application
    1. Select "Degree Admission"
    2. On the "Campus, Major, Degree & Semester" page:
      1. Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
      2. Choose "BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION" as the major
      3. Choose "M B A" as the degree

Technical Requirements

Review the technical requirements for this degree program.